Share the agony and joy of Amazing Race

I DON'T know who came up with the title for the reality television show The Amazing Race but perhaps a more appropriate title would have been The Fun Race.

But then I guess there is no fun when you are wiggling your way around in a foreign land, especially if there is an appetising $1million (about R7,3million) at stake.

Maybe The Agonising Race would be closer to home then. But whatever you might call it, it is one reality programme that will have you on the edge of your seat - whether you are sympathetic or cheering the participants.

A few scribes and DStv subscribers got a taste of what participants go through during the race when the pay channel put them to the test on a short race from Johannesburg to Swaziland. Not only is it frustrating, especially when you have to ask directions from locals who are not familiar with their place.

According to the channel the 15th season, which premiered last Sunday, features another diverse cast of racers, including a former Miss America, two members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, two professional female poker players, plus the first-ever racer with Asperger's syndrome, all vying to take home the $1million prize money.

For those who are not familiar with the show, it is a television reality programme designed to stimulate in participants their grit to survive any situation along the way to the final destination.

The clues to the final journey's end are not necessarily as clear as the blue sky. Add to that the fact that you might be in a foreign country where there would be a daunting language barrier then you understand the task ahead..

Sometimes the clues are penned in a way that you not only have to have a sense of humour but to be street smart.

Speed is of the essence for these participants as they will be wiggling in eight countries in just 21 days. They will cover Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Sweden, Estonia and the Czech Republic.

This season also features the quickest elimination in the history of the series, sending one of the 12 teams home before they even leave the starting line.

A new twist also sees the remaining teams facing the "Switchback", one of the series' most infamous roadblocks, as well as a surprise appearance by one of America's most beloved entertainers, a visit to the world's tallest building and a spicy take on a Japanese game show.

"This season we wanted to keep the racers and our fans on their toes and make sure no one gets too comfortable," said Bertram van Munster, executive producer and co-creator of The Amazing Race.